The 7 keys to buying a TV if you have no idea of TV; Resolution 4K, HDR, Panel 10-bit … You have to buy a TV but you have no idea about TV. We explain everything to you with simple words.
Buying a television nowadays almost requires learning an alien language. 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, HGL, UHD, 10-bit panels, Rec.2020, extended gamut, input lag, and other gibberish that demonstrate the failure of the industry to agree on standards that do not exist.
It turns out that you have broken the old flat TV you bought when you went to the DVD. A shame, with how well you saw the channels of DTT … Surely could hold another ten years, but the technical service has told you that no longer repair antiques.
It’s your turn to buy a TV without having any idea of TV. You just want a nice big TV that looks good, but now … they even have Internet! And what is that of 4K, HDR and Ultra HD that appears in all ads?
The first thing to decide is the size of the new TV. Not all brands have all sizes. First, take a look at the place where you are going to place it. Imagine the largest TV that fits there and measures its diagonal.
Now multiply that measurement, in meters, by 39.37, and you’ll get the size of the biggest TV you can put there.
For example, if the diagonal measures 1.57 meters, we make: 1.57 x 39.37 = 61.81 . Rounding out, the biggest TV you can buy is 60 inches.
Keep in mind that the recommended size depends on the distance from where you see it. Measure the distance from the chair to where you are going to put the TV, and multiply it by 26.24. For example, if the distance to the chair is 1.64 meters, we have 1, 64 x 26.24 = 43 inches. Therefore the ideal is that the TV has a size between 43 and 60 inches with these examples. They are measures to cover the entire angle of vision since modern TVs can be seen from closer. But nothing prevents you from putting a smaller TV.
2.- Detail of the image
Modern TVs show more detail than those that were sold two or three years ago. Now it’s called 4K resolution, Ultra HD or UHD. The three names mean the same thing. The images on the screens are made up of dots called pixels. The 4K telescopes have 8 million points. That’s 16 times more than a DVD, so you can get an idea.
Some telephones carry the Ultra HD Premium seal. It means that they meet the standards of colour, brightness and contrast that guarantee the highest image quality. You have the guarantee that it is a good TV, but it will surely be expensive …
The problem is that there is currently little content that uses that 4K resolution. Just some Vodafone, Orange or Movistar channels, some Netflix content, some videos on Youtube, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies, PS4 Pro or Xbox One X games, and little else.
If you have any of these platforms, then buy a 4K TV. If long-term you will not use any of them, or very little, then buy a 1080p TV, which has fewer but better definition channels are lifelong, DVD and Blu-ray.
3.- Screen type
There are several types of screen, and it is important because it greatly influences the image quality. This is one of the key concepts if you are going to buy a television, and you have no idea about TVs .
- LED: They have more brightness so they look better in bright rooms, but they lose quality if you see them from the side. They go well to watch TV with the light on, but those who do not see it in front will lose image quality. They are the cheapest.
- OLED: They have less brightness than the LEDs but the colours are more vivid, the blacks perfect, and they look good from the sides. They are ideal for watching movies in the dark, with large families, and also for sports. It is the best technology, but also the most expensive.
- Quantum Dot, QLED: Intermediate technologies. Some LEDs improve but in some things, they are below OLED.
If the advertisement does not say anything, then it’s an LED TV.
Terms like TruMotion, MotionFlow, Crystal Color, better to ignore them, is marketing.
When choosing a brand , keep in mind that 4K TVs have much more definition than the channels of the DTT, cable, DVD or Blu-ray. You have to convert the image, and that requires quality components that you will only find in leading brands such as Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, etc. If you could afford it, you will notice the better image quality than in cheaper white brands.
4.- Improvements in the image
You will see that many new TVs have the HDR tagline. It is a new technology that produces more real colours and more detail in dark scenes, or with backlight. It only works with movies, series and video games that have HDR, and must also have 4K resolution. We have already mentioned it: Netflix, some 4K channels from Vodafone, Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD movies, PS4 Pro or Xbox One X consoles, and little else. If you are not going to use that content, you can buy a 4K TV without HDR, although now almost all of them have it.
Within the HDR there are many variants, and they are not compatible with each other. Just make sure the TV has HDR10, the most used. Another variant is Dolby Vision, which is a bit better, but it is more expensive and there is less content.
In some advertisements, you will see that data is mentioned as an 8, 10 or 12-bit panel. This refers to the number of colours that TV can play. As more bits have, more variation within the same color, so the image is more realistic, but also the TV is more expensive. If you can afford it, buy a 10-bit panel TV. But the 8-bit ones also look good.
5.- Connections and sound
Current TVs use HDMI connections. This is where the consoles, the movie players, etc. are connected. It’s a connection that is already many years old, so it’s likely that your current TV already has it. If you buy a 4K TV the DVD players, Blu-ray, consoles, etc., that you have, as well as the cables, will serve you without problems. Only if you use a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, or 4K video players will you have to check that the HDMI cable is high speed, or HDMI 2.0.
Make sure the TV has at least three HDMI connectors. As more, better. It is also important that you have at least one pair of USB connectors. They are used both to connect hard disks or USB sticks, as well as to power current devices such as devices for watching the video without cables, mini consoles, etc.
There are other types of connections but they are secondary.
Another key to buying a television if you have no idea about TVs, are the speakers. Forget about them. In modern TVs they are usually quite limited because there is no place for them, being so thin. Better buy a sound bar or external speakers.
The current TVs are connected to the Internet through WiFi or cable. They can use apps like mobile phones: YouTube or Twitter, games, and TV platforms such as Netflix, HBO, etc. Everything is handled with the remote control, although some allow using a game controller or the mobile itself as a touchscreen.
The performance of these applications is usually low because a TV is not a computer. If you plan to connect TV to the Internet simply check that you have the basic services that interest you, such as YouTube, or the streaming platforms you see: Netflix, HBO, etc. The rest is not necessary.
If you want to send photos and videos from the mobile to the TV, without cables, check that the TV is compatible with Google Cast, Miracast or DLNA. If you do not have any of that, you can always buy a Chromecast Ultra or Fire TV, small devices that connect to the TV and serve to send content from the mobile or computer without cables.
7.- Video games
Many people buy a TV to enjoy their games in a big way. If you have a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X console, it is advisable to buy a 4K TV (if possible, with HDR), to take full advantage of its advanced video possibilities. With any other console (PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch) a 1080p TVs is more than enough.
You can also connect them to a 4K TV, but having much more definition will have to adapt the image and will be blurred or with many saw teeth.
Of course, this data points: the latency, “input lag” or response time for video games must be less than 45 ms. Check it in the specifications or ask at the store. In the same way, also look at the refresh rate.
If it is less than 60 Hz, you will not be able to see the games at 60 frames or frames per second, a fact that is also especially important for many players.
Finally, even if it is repetitive: if you want the console to play, make sure also that the HDMI ports of the new TV are 2.0 because otherwise, you will not be able to enjoy all the features that we have highlighted (HDR and 4K resolution, mainly).
And that’s it!
With all of The 7 keys to buying a TV if you have no idea of TV, you can choose a TV that suits your needs, without throwing away money. If there is any other information that you do not know, ask an acquaintance to master the topic, or write your question in the comments of this article. Happy shopping!
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